Monday, 9 November 2009

10. Time to Go

It is time to go, too late for second thoughts or hesitation. We have made our plans, rehearsed the details, laid trails, discussed our tactics and choices. No turning back now. And here I am, hurtling rapidly through space, getting faster, denser, smaller. I am attracting particles of increasingly heavy matter like iron filings to a magnet, astral matter that had once seemed as light and airy as a magic carpet now entangles me. Doubts are already creeping in – how will we recognise one another and what if one of us fails? The jaunty black hat, the cheap pizza restaurant. You are wearing green shoes. You will be twenty three, I am twenty five. It’s your birthday party – I am carrying a bouquet of flowers for a girlfriend who doesn’t show up. So many ‘ifs’. What if...? What if my girlfriend forgets her part and comes along? Would it make a difference? If I’m not alone but walk in with someone else will our eyes still meet across the crowded room? My impatience might get the better of me again. I could be married with two kids, a cat and a budgerigar, and a mortgage by the time I’m twenty five. My wife might insist on cooking dinner at home that day to eat in front of the TV with the kids. And if we did meet and I was married, would that be better or worse? We have planned it to be a first love, a partnership for life. We will raise our children, sail round the world, have adventures and then grow old together. The darkness thickens and with a jolt I feel as if I have been squeezed through a narrow tube of toothpaste to land with a bump. A tiny heart beat, warmth. The gentle swaying motion of a country walk. Muffled voices. My consciousness shifts outside the tiny body to take a look at my new parents – it seems but a moment since we all rehearsed our roles, but in this heavy world of time they are already middle aged, and looking forward to having this long-awited first child. They look fit, happy, well-prepared, and the baby seems healthy. They have played their parts well. So far so good. Now I just need to remember the script, to play my part. No stage fright this time. I must give it my all.

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